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Triumph adds What3Words to connectivity system

Triumph pairs up with location app What3Words

Triumph adds What3Words to connectivity system

Triumph Motorcycles is the latest company to team up with the geolocation and navigation tech firm What3Words. It follows the news that the AA is using the location tool to find stricken motorists.

The technology divides the world into a grid of 3m x 3m squares – each one given a unique What3Words address. Triumph is adding the tech to its motorcycle connectivity system.

If you’re after Triumph’s HQ in Leicestershire, you’ll require ‘Needed.Exist.Brands’. Meanwhile, ‘Gentle.Coins.Sadly’ will take you to Peel Road in Douglas, Isle of Man.

Triumph Motorcycles and What3Words

Triumph says riders can use the What3Words function of the app to navigate the world and to meet friends in places without addresses. Examples include that really neat corner on your favourite road, or the remote cafe that serves the best bacon sarnies on a Sunday morning.

Nick Bloor, CEO at Triumph Motorcycles said: “The Triumph brand and our riders seek adventure and this new collaboration with What3Words allows our riders to explore the world with ease. We’re excited to be the first motorcycle brand to feature What3Words, providing precise, easy to use navigation.” 

Chris Sheldrick, CEO and co-founder of What3Words, added: “The addition of What3Words navigation to the iconic British brand Triumph Motorcycles is an important first for us. What3Words addresses are easier to remember than a postal address and can be shared more accurately than any other location reference system, which makes it an ideal navigation solution for the adventurous motorcyclist.”

Triumph using What3Words

The What3Words app hit the headlines this week when it was used to rescue four people caught in blizzard conditions in Scotland. ‘Tortoises.Swarm.Announce’ was used to direct rescuers to within metres of their precise location. One of the rescuers said they were lucky to have been at a place on Ben Nevis where they could get mobile phone reception.

The What3Words feature will be available via an update to the My Triumph app in April 2020, and will allow three-word address input in 35 different languages.

Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th

Harley-Davidson marks 30 years of the Fat Boy with special edition

Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 30th

Even if you’re not into motorcycles, you’ll almost certainly recognise the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.

In 1991, a Fat Boy featured in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a film in which Arnold Schwarzenegger rides a motorcycle through the streets of Los Angeles. It helped to catapult the Fat Boy into popular culture.

The original Harley-Davidson Fat Boy arrived in 1989 as a 1990 model. Designed by Willie G. Davidson and Louise Netz, the Fat Boy featured a wider handlebar, a seven-inch headlight and a fat front tyre covered with a trimmed fender. It rolled on aluminium disc wheels – the rear exposed by the Softail chassis – creating the defining feature of the Fat Boy model.

Fat Boy 30th

Harley-Davidson is celebrating three decades of the motorcycle with the launch of the Fat Boy 30 Anniversary edition. Limited to 2,500 examples, each motorcycle comes with a numbered plate affixed to the fuel tank console.

Finished in Vivid Black, the Fat Boy 30th Anniversary also features cast-aluminium Lakester wheels finished in Satin Black with machined highlights. The blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight 114 powertrain is finished with engine covers in gloss black with bronze-tone lower rocker covers and a timer cover script.

Further upgrades include an LED headlight in a newly shaped nacelle, black handlebars and a bronze-tone Fat Boy tank logo.

Fat Boy 30th anniversary

Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson vice president of styling and design, said: “The Fat Boy took the look, proportions and silhouette of a 1949 Hydra Glide motorcycle and completely modernised it for a new generation of riders.

“Those riders appreciated our post-war design DNA but also found themselves drawn to the clean simplicity of contemporary industrial design. Each of these elements was captured in the new 2018 version of the Fat Boy model.

“For this 30th Anniversary model we wanted to create something very special, so we leaned into the popularity of darker finishes and a limited run/serialised strategy to make the bike truly unique and exclusive.”

What’s in a name?

Milwaukee-Eight 114 V-Twin

Why is it called the Fat Boy? According to an account by Willie G. Davidson from his book 100 Years of Harley-Davidson, this is how it came about:

“You’re probably wondering how we came up with a name like ‘Fat Boy’, and I’ve heard a lot of tales about this, nearly all of which are untrue. Here’s the real story: it’s tough to come up with names that will be popular on the street. We always have to ask ourselves, ‘What’s the street going to name this?’ and work from there.

“We were looking for something unusual and maybe even a little irreverent, because there’s something sort of cool about poking fun at your products from time to time. To me, and to a lot of other insiders who’d seen it, the bike had a massive ‘fat’ look. So the folks in marketing came up with the name ‘Fat Boy’ – and the street picked it up.”

If you fancy a modern-day Fat Boy, the base price is £20,495.

Yamaha NMax 125

Motorcycle sales grew in 2019 thanks to commuters

Scooter commuter in London

Unlike new car sales, UK new motorcycle registrations grew in 2019, partly thanks to commuters and youngsters buying ever-greater numbers of scooters.

107,408 new motorcycles were sold in Britain last year. That’s a fraction of the 2.31 million new cars sold, but the figure is still growing, albeit at just 1.5 percent.

High-powered superbike riders aren’t driving the growth, though. Sales of such extreme machines were down an eye-watering 16.9 percent during 2019.

Instead, it’s the gradual growth of three key sectors that’s helping the motorcycle sector expand – with Britain’s second-favourite type of motorcycle, the scooter, up 2.1 percent.

Yamaha NMax 125

So-called ‘naked’ bikes – stylish machines with minimal bodywork – are our top ride of the moment, with 2.2 percent growth taking the numbers sold last year to over 34,000.

Adventure sport bikes, such as the BMW GS used by Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor in the Long Way Round, are the fastest-growing sector, up 5.9 percent last year, and Britain’s third-favourite type of bike.

Motorcycle trade body the MCIA believes it will be further growth in the scooter sector that powers the industry in the near future.

“With their light weight, ease of parking, and ultra-low or zero emissions, more and more people are realising that powered light vehicles (PLVs) represent a perfect alternative to traffic-bound cars and vans,” said MCIA spokesman Nick Broomhall.

“In addition, many electric PLVs feature removable batteries that can be charged at home or work, from a conventional wall socket.”

Yamaha NMax 125

In December 2019, the best-selling scooter in Britain was the Yamaha NMax 125, pictured above. It can be bought new from £3,174, officially averages 122.8 mpg and emits just 52 g/km CO2. 

Best Bike Awards 2016

Best Bike Awards 2016: the UK’s top motorcycles revealed

Best Bike Awards 2016The Auto Trader Best Bike Awards 2016 have been revealed, celebrating the very best in the UK motorcycle market. It’s a sector in great shape, and 2016 has been a classic year for new model launches. Auto Trader has chosen the very best of the best.

British bike market in 2016

Best Bike Awards 2016

Almost 80,000 new motorcycles have been registered in the UK already in 2016, a healthy rise of nearly 6% on 2015. Although sales of entry-level bikes are down, bigger-engined motorcycles are doing well: the 126-650cc category is up an impressive 8.4%.

The biggest new bike category is for stripped-back Naked bikes, beating even Scooters and Adventure Sports bikes in the popularity stakes.

Biker boom

Best Bike Awards 2016

There are now 1.25 million motorcycles in use on UK roads, a number that’s been growing over the past few years. There are lots of active riders in Britain and, as bikes become ever-better and boast ever-more-attractive deals, many will be in the market for a new machine.

Here’s the pick of the UK new bike market in 2016.

Best bike for AM licence holders: Peugeot Django 50cc

Best Bike Awards 2016

The 50cc motorcycle 16-year-olds should be riding in 2016 is the retro-look Peugeot Django 50cc. It retains the award it won last year for its combination of cool looks and everyday usability. There’s even a 12-volt charger, so smartphone obsessives can top up their battery on the move.

Best bike for A1 licence holders: Honda CB125F

Best Bike Awards 2016

Riders aged 17 should hot-foot it to the local Honda dealer to pick up a bargain-priced CB125F. Not for nothing is it the UK’s best-selling 125cc machine. It costs from just £2,699, does 151mpg and looks far cooler than you’d ever believe a beginner’s motorbike could.

Best bike for A2 licence holders: Honda CB500F

Best Bike Awards 2016

Riders aged 19 or over can choose a full-size motorcycle that’s restricted to 47hp. Once they pass their full test, this restrictor can be taken off. The best choice here is, again, a Honda; the CB500F is the perfect step-up machine from the CB125F.

Best Scooter: Vespa GTS 300

Best Bike Awards 2016

Who doesn’t want a classic Vespa? Now there’s reason to want a modern Vespa: the GTS 300 has scooped this category three years running and Auto Trader says it’s hard to see anything beating it. It even has heated grips for winter!

Best Commuter: Honda NC750X

Best Bike Awards 2016

Commuter motorcycles should be painless and easy to ride, with a good seating position for excellent visibility. Cue the NC750X, a genuine twist-and-go machine with clutchless transmission and, new for 2016, cooler and edgier looks. Again, it’s a three-time category winner.

Best Naked: Triumph Speed Triple R

Best Bike Awards 2016

The most popular new motorcycle category in Britain right now is the Naked sector. Ooh-err. Aggressive looks, minimalist bodywork and savage power make them real thrillers – none more so than the 138hp race-bred Triumph Speed Triple R.

Best Retro: Triumph Thruxton R

Best Bike Awards 2016

Retro bikes are more classically-styled Naked machines – and Triumph has this sector sewn up too, with the beautiful Thruxton R. It builds upon the established Thruxton range with improved dynamics and engine power. “It’s the retro Triumph you’ve been waiting for,” said Auto Trader editor-in-chief, Jon Quirk.

Best Adventure: Honda Africa Twin

Best Bike Awards 2016

We’ve been waiting a long time for a new Honda Africa Twin, but at last it has arrived – and Auto Trader says the wait has been worth it. It’s one of the best motorcycles to come out of Honda in years, and is “a phenomenal all-rounder… If you want a reason not to buy a BMW GS, this is it”.

Best Tourer: BMW S 1000 XR

Best Bike Awards 2016

Planning on riding across Europe this summer? You need a BMW S 1000 XR. It’s a superbike engine in a sports touring chassis that, says Auto Trader, creates the motorcycle equivalent of a performance SUV. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a BMW X5 M for riders.

Best Sports: Yamaha YZF-F1

Best Bike Awards 2016

The fearsome Yamaha R1 has done it again. A sublime track bike, Auto Trader reckons it’s a bike that wins over both head and heart in an instant. It’s also a race bike for the road that you can thrash all day long without fear – mechanical integrity is second to none. “It’s staggering,” say the editors.

Best Cruiser: Indian Springfield

Best Bike Awards 2016

You may not have heard of the Indian motorcycle company but you’ll certainly have heard of the motorcycle brand it’s beaten to best Cruiser 2016: Harley-Davidson. The Springfield has “the ride quality of an ocean liner and a finish that out-luxes all-comers.” Just for added reassurance, it even has a five-year warranty. Born-again bikers, you need this in your life!

Best Manufacturer 2016: Triumph

Best Bike Awards 2016

Despite building more than 54,000 motorcycles overseen from its Hinckley, Leicestershire HQ, Triumph keeps on innovating, with models such as the Thunderbird, Bonneville and modernised Speed Triple range. It’s a brand that shows the future really is looking bright for the British motorcycle industry, says Auto Trader – which is why it didn’t hesitate to award it the Best Manufacturer 2016 gong.

Best Bike 2016: Honda Africa Twin

Best Bike Awards 2016

The Auto Trader judges were unanimous in picking the new Honda Africa Twin as their Best Bike 2016. They said its ability both on- and off-road is “staggering”, the engine is superb, it’s comfortable to ride and it offers tremendous value for money. An all-round champ that stands clear as Britain’s best in 2016.

Guy Martin and Triumph in world land speed record attempt

Guy Martin and Triumph in world speed record attempt

Guy Martin and Triumph in world land speed record attemptGuy Martin and Triumph Motorcycles will attempt to break the motorcycle world land speed record this month at Bonneville Salt Flats with a target speed of more than 376mph.

Martin, himself a multiple speed world record holder (and Isle of Man TT legend, and all-round top bloke), will ride the Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner – a 1,000hp streamlined motorcycle powered by two turbocharged Triumph Rocket III motorcycle engines fuelled by methane.

It’s a motorcycle like no other: made from carbon-kevlar, it’s more than 25 feet long, two feet wide and just three feet tall.

Triumph Infor Rocket Streamliner

The current motorcycle world land speed record stands at 376.363mph, held by American Rocky Robinson who set it in 2010. To beat it, Martin will have to ride faster than this staggering motorcycle maximum speed twice over the Bonneville measured mile.

And he can’t wait. “The Triumph engineers have built an amazing machine, giving us the very best chance to beat the two-wheeled land speed record.”

It’s not the first time Triumph has challenged for the motorcycle speed record either – Triumph Streamliners through the years have been the world’s fastest motorcycles, with one of the most dramatic being the Gyronaut X-1 which claimed the record in 1966 and held it into the 1970s.

Its top speed? No less than 245.667mph. In 1966!

Honda PCX 125

On your bike: commuters buy most motorcycles since 1983

Honda PCX 125

Motorcycle sales are at last looking up in the UK, with the Motorcycle Industry Association reporting sales for 2015 topped 114,000 – the highest annual total since pre-recession 2008 days.

And it’s commuter motorcycles that are driving the upturn; more of this category of bike and scooter were sold in 2015 than since records began in 1983.

Almost 44,000 commuter two-wheelers between 101-125cc were sold in 2015, continuing growth in this category that stretches back to 2011 when fuel prices first began to rise.

“Motorcycle dealers have been reporting an increase in families swapping a second car for a motorcycle, to beat the misery of sitting in traffic during rush hour,” said Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA.

“Motorcycles and scooters can filter through slow moving traffic and are tremendous fun, with riders tending to rate their commute more enjoyable than other transport users.”

The forecast for 2016 sales is positive too. “We anticipate 2016 will see further growth on 2015 numbers, and predict sales of around 124,000,” said Kenward.

Cars are still easily more popular than motorcycles, however. Last year, the SMMT reports more than 2.6 million new vehicles were registered.

Ducati Monster

British bikers rush to go naked

Ducati MonsterThe 2015 revival of the motorcycle sector continued in September with official registrations figures recording a 15% overall rise – and it is the naked bike sector that is helping lead the growth.

Sales of naked bikes are up 28.3% year-on-year, helping accelerate an overall market that’s seen 10,000 more motorcycles registered thus far in 2015 than last year.

The big bike sector of 651 – 1000cc is also up 26.5% compared to last year.

The growth of naked and larger bikes comes at the expensive of mopeds: this sector is down nearly 13% compared to 2014, and even scooter motorcycles only posted a 4.6% rise.

A stark contrast is found in the engine size registrations: 0 – 50cc is down 12.3%; 651 – 1000cc is up 26.5%.

Overall, 13,536 motorcycles were registered in September 2015, meaning the yearly total stands at almost 94,000.

It’s a welcome recovery for an automotive sector that was hit badly by the recession: what’s more, with 1.2 million motorcycles currently in use, it means a market renewal rate approaching 10% in one year alone.

Bosch motorcycle ABS

Motorcycle ABS ‘prevents 1 in 4 casualties’

Bosch motorcycle ABS

Motorcycle ABS anti-lock brakes are now fitted to a third of all motorbikes made in Europe, with component supplier Bosch revealing this market share has risen 600% over the past six years. Read more

Suzuki Hayabusa

Brit attempts UK-to-India Suzuki Hayabusa record ride

Suzuki HayabusaA UK motorcyclist will attempt to set a new overland record time by riding from the UK to India on his Suzuki Hayabusa superbike. Read more

ARIEL ACE motorcycle

Ariel Ace motorcycle revealed: now Ariel takes to two wheels! 

ARIEL ACE motorcycle

Iconic ‘naked’ sports car manufacturer Ariel has revealed an all-new product – the Ariel Ace motorcycle! Read more